How to change bash prompt (using PS1,, liquid-prompt, bash-it and powerline)

PS: prompt statement: PS1 default, PS2 continuation, PS3 select shell scripts, PS4 "set-x" prefix
PROMPT_COMMAND: executes the content of the PROMPT_COMMAND just before displaying the PS1 variable
PS1 shoud be set in {~/.basrc,/etc/bashrc} because non-interactive bashes go out of their way to unset PS1

# display username \u, hostname \h, FQDN \H, current working directory \w and basename of cwd \W
PS1="\u@\h \w\$"

# display time in 24h format \t, in 12h format \T in am/pm format \@ and date \D{format} in strftime(3)
PS1="\u@\h [\t]$" 

# display command output \$(cmd) or `cmd`, history number \!, last command status \$?, env variable $var
PS1="\! \h \$(uname -r) \$?$" 

# change foreground color \e[x;ym $PS1 \e[m where \e[ is start color scheme, x;y is color pair and \e[m is stop color scheme
PS1="\e[0;31m[\u@\h \W]\$ \e[m $"
txtblk='\e[0;30m' # Black - Regular
txtred='\e[0;31m' # Red
txtgrn='\e[0;32m' # Green
txtylw='\e[0;33m' # Yellow
txtblu='\e[0;34m' # Blue
txtpur='\e[0;35m' # Purple
txtcyn='\e[0;36m' # Cyan
txtwht='\e[0;37m' # White
# change to 1 for bold and 4 for underline

# change background color \e[{code}m
PS1="\e[47m\u@\h \w> \e[m"
bakblk='\e[40m'   # Black - Background
bakred='\e[41m'   # Red
bakgrn='\e[42m'   # Green
bakylw='\e[43m'   # Yellow
bakblu='\e[44m'   # Blue
bakpur='\e[45m'   # Purple
bakcyn='\e[46m'   # Cyan
bakwht='\e[47m'   # White
txtrst='\e[0m'    # Text Reset

# change the prompt color using 'tput setab|setb|setaf|setf' background|foreground and 'tput bold|dim|smul|rmul|rev' bold|dim|underline|reverse
PS1="\[$(tput bold)$(tput setb 4)$(tput setaf 7)\]\u@\h:\w $ \[$(tput sgr0)\]"

# positioning the cursor \[33[;f\], save cursor position \[33[s\], restore \[33[u\]
PS1=">\[33[s\]\[33[1;\$((COLUMNS-4))f\]\$(date +%H:%M)\[33[u\]"

# rhel default
PS1="[\u@\h \W]\\$ "
# ubuntu default
PS1="\u@\h:\W\\$ "
# see

from ColorBashPrompt@arch, examples@thegeekstuff and ColorBashPrompt@cyberciti

# add git prompt
$ cat ~/.bashrc
. /usr/lib/git-core/git-sh-prompt
export PS1='[\u@\h \W$(__git_ps1 " (%s)")]\$ '

# by defaults only shows current branch name
GIT_PS1_SHOWDIRTYSTATE show unstaged '*' and staged '+' changes 
GIT_PS1_SHOWSTASHSTATE show '$' if something is stashed
GIT_PS1_SHOWUNTRACKEDFILES shows '%' if untracked files
GIT_PS1_SHOWUPSTREAM="auto" shows '','','=' if behind/ahead/diverged/nodiff
GIT_PS1_SHOWUPSTREAM="verbose name" show number of commits ahead/behind (+/-) upstream, and upstream name


  • liquidprompt@github is an adaptive, smart prompt for Bash and Zsh. It can display various useful information on the shell prompt, only when it's needed.
## install
$ git clone ~/.liquidprompt
$ cp ~/.liquidprompt/liquidpromptrc-dist ~/.config/liquidpromptrc
$ cat ~/.bashrc
. ~/.liquidprompt/liquidprompt

## usage ~/.config/liquidpromptrc
LP_PS1_PREFIX/LP_PS1_POSTFIX adds prefix/suffix, 'prompt_tag MYTAG' is same as 'LP_PS1_PREFIX'
LP_PS1/LP_PS1_FILE rearranging the prompt, see ~/.liquidprompt/liquid.ps1
LP_HOSTNAME_ALWAYS/LP_USER_ALWAYS display if differs from current
'prompt_off/prompt_on' temporally disable/enable

# branch_name(+lines_added/-lines_removed,pending_commits)
# branch_name in green if up-to-date, red if changes, yellow if pending commits to push
# yellow '+' if shashed modification, red '*' if untracked files
[me:~/gitrepo] master(+1/-2)*

## uninstall
# remove '. ~/.liquidprompt/liquidprompt' from '~/.bashrc'
$ rm -rf ~/.config/liquidpromptrc ~/.liquidprompt

from liquid-prompt@ubuntu

  • bash-it@github is a mash up of my own bash commands and scripts, other bash stuff I have found. A shameless ripoff of oh-my-zsh.
## install
$ sudo pip install argcomplete
$ git clone ~/.bash_it
$ cp ~/.bash_profile{,.bak}
$ ~/.bash_it/
$ for pg in chruby chruby-auto postgres z; do bash-it disable plugin $pg; done
$ . ~/.bash_profile

## enable theme, see
$ cat ~/.bash_profile
# location ~/.bash_it/themes/
export BASH_IT_THEME='bobby'
$ reload

## uninstall
$ cp ~/.bash_profile{.bak,}
$ rm -rf ~/.bash_it ~/.bash_profile.bak
  • powerline@github is a statusline plugin for vim, and provides statuslines and prompts for several other applications, including zsh, bash, tmux, vim …
## install
$ sudo apt-get install powerline (14.10 very old)
$ sudo apt-get install python-pip git
$ sudo pip install git+git://

# install fonts
$ sudo wget -q -O /usr/share/fonts/PowerlineSymbols.otf
$ sudo fc-cache -vf
$ sudo wget -q -O /etc/fonts/conf.d/10-powerline-symbols.conf
# restart all terms

# if you get "coercing to Unicode" then see and
$ cd /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/
$ sudo wget -q
$ sudo patch -p1 < *.patch

## usage
# ~/.{bash,zsh}rc or /etc/{bash.bashrc,zsh/zshrc}
export POWERLINE=/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline
if [ -f $POWERLINE/bindings/{bash,zsh}/ ]; then
    source $POWERLINE/bindings/{bash,zsh}/
# ~/.tmux.conf
export POWERLINE=/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline
source $POWERLINE/bindings/tmux/powerline.conf
set-option -g default-terminal "screen-256color"
# ~/.vimrc or /etc/vim/vimrc
set rtp+=/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline/bindings/vim/
" Always show statusline
set laststatus=2
" Use 256 colours (Use this setting only if your terminal supports 256 colours)
set t_Co=256

## configuration
mkdir ~/.config/powerline
cp -R $POWERLINE/config_files/* ~/.config/powerline
# bash doesnt support right segments, so edit ~/.config/powerline/config.json
    "theme": "default_leftonly"
# add hostname to prompt, edit ~/.config/powerline/themes/shell/{default,_leftonly}.json
    "only_if_ssh": false

## uninstall
$ sudo pip uninstall powerline
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/bin/powerline* /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline ~/.config/powerline

from docs and powerline@ubuntu


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